February 2010 Indie Next List
“Focusing on the role of the three Americans who played key roles in ensuring the effective cooperation between Britain and the US in WWII -- Averell Harriman, Edward R. Murrow, and U.S. ambassador Gilbert Winant -- Lynne Olson has written a sterling history of a little-known aspect of the war. Citizens of London makes gripping reading, detailing the obstacles that could easily have prevented the alliance ever coming together, and drawing on an impressive array of diaries, interviews and personal letters to reveal the extent of the efforts of their political rivals to overcome them.”
— Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC
The acclaimed author of Troublesome Young Men reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR’s Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain. Each man formed close ties with Winston Churchill—so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister’s family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, Citizens of London is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.
About the Author
Lynne Olson, a former Moscow correspondent for the Associated Press and White House correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, is the author of Troublesome Young Men and Freedom’s Daughters and co-author, with her husband, Stanley Cloud, of A Question of Honor and The Murrow Boys. She lives in Washington, D.C.
“Engaging and original, rich in anecdote and analysis, this is a terrific work of history.”—Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of American Lion
“Citizens of London is a great read about the small band of Americans and their courageous role in helping Britain through the darkest days of early World War II. I thought I knew a lot about this dangerous period, but Lynne Olson has taught me so much more.”—Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation
“A deeply inspiring chronicle of the special relationship between America and Britain when it mattered most.”—Chris Matthews, anchor, MSNBC’s Hardball
“Ingenious history . . . All three men were colorful, larger-than-life figures, and Olson’s absorbing narrative does them justice.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“An engaging history . . . a vibrant city fueled by courage and resolve.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“An original and fascinating book.”—Lincoln Journal Star
“[A] cracking good read.”—New York Post